Simple. Spicy. Spaghetti.

For my first attempt at cooking for this blog, I wanted to choose a recipe that would be simple and would — given my past track record with kitchen utensils and unintentional, self-inflicted injuries — foolproof, even for me.

After perusing the Real Simple Web site, I found a recipe for Spaghetti with Broccoli and Lemon I thought would fit the bill; I wasn’t disappointed.

Spaghetti with Broccoli and Lemon

One of the best parts of this recipe is its adaptability; I made some of my own substitutions based on my personal preferences. I used fettuccine instead of spaghetti, and left out the fresh Parmesan, as in my experience it tends to congeal in not-so-pleasing ways. Anyone can easily do the same.

And, for those of us who do not have a fully stocked kitchen, this recipe allows for some breathing room.
If you…
• Don’t have a juicer, squeeze your lemon by hand over a tea strainer
• Don’t have a zester, use carrot peeler or a knife (carefully)
• Don’t have red pepper flakes, grab some extra packets the next time you’re at Lil Caesar’s.

Another of the recipe’s positives is it’s price, or lack thereof.

Cost Breakdown:
• Fettuccine – 98 cents/box
• Extra-virgin olive oil – approx. 30 cents a tablespoon, or 88 cents for this recipe.
• Garlic cloves – 4 oz., or 44 cents.
• Broccoli – 82 cents/lb
• Red pepper flakes – $1.99 in a pack of six spices; approximately 33 cents for this recipe
• Lemon – approx. 67 cents
Total = approx. $4.15 for a meal that serves four.

With minimal prep time and plenty of leftovers, this recipe is a welcome alternative to Ragu.

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